If you are running a small business, you will definitely need some sort of agreements to use with your clients or vendors. This Nolo guide should be used in conjunction with another Nolo guide 'How to Create Noncompete Agreements' to have the best combination of contracts to protect yourself.
The first few chapters in the book outline both perspectives - hired consultant and client hiring the consultant. The chapters following these initial chapters focus on different kinds of situations like Agreements for Accounting and Bookkeeping Services, Agreements for Software Consultants (the one I started using right away), etc. These chapters basically outline the relevant contract and discuss the purpose of each clause in the contract along with their alternatives. You can then select the alternative that best suits your situation and modify the contract accordingly.
You will find the various sample agreements to be used by the hiring firm and by the independent contractor at the end of the book (and on the CD-ROM).
It took me all of 15 minutes to read the chapter on agreements for software consultants and highlight the clauses I wanted to modify. I spent an additional hour modifying the electonic version of the form and saving the file. After this, I emailed the electronic copy to my lawyer who charged me a much lower fee to check the contract! She basically found 3 errors I didn't know about and fixed them for me. I then sent the contract to my client to sign. Right there, the book paid for itself many times over!
But don't forget to combine this book with the other book on Noncompete Agreements. It is especially critical if you are the hiring firm. Good luck!